Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday that center back Andreu Fontas would be out 4-5 months after going under the knife for “insertional Achilles tendon clean up and repair surgery.” The procedure occurred on Monday, one day after Sporting KC were roundly defeated 6-0 on Decision Day by FC Dallas.
The 4-5 month timeline could mean that Fontas will miss the entire offseason for SKC as preseason typically runs during the month of February in Arizona. If the more optimistic number is hit then Fontas may return in time for preseason.
However, many SKC fans would like to see Fontas leave the club entirely. This new revelation would seem to indicate Fontas could be around for a while. It would be nearly impossible to transfer Fontas while he’s injured and his motivation to “mutually agree to part ways” would be almost nil with his guaranteed salary being north of $1 million per season.
MLS rules do however allow Sporting KC to buy out a contract of one player per offseason. Many fans and pundits wanted that move to happen but it makes even more sense now. It’s very unlikely that Fontas would improve much with no time to work on fitness or chemistry with his teammates during this very long offseason.
Here is the rule about called “Buyout of Guaranteed Contract” from the MLS Roster Rules.
“A club may buy out one player who has a Guaranteed Contract (including a Designated Player’s) during the offseason and free up the corresponding Salary Budget space. Such a buyout is at the club’s expense.
A club may not free up space in the Salary Budget with a buyout of a player’s contract during the season. In the case a club buys out a player’s contract during the season, the buyout amount will be charged against the club’s Salary Budget.”
If SKC make that move, it would clear both a roster spot and the charge to the salary budget for 2020. Also, it would clear up an international roster spot as well.
Fontas was clearly a miss in 2018-2019 as he was the highest paid defender on the team and he only made 13 league appearances (18 in all competitions) including 10 starts (15 in all comps). He was a small part of a SKC defense that allowed the most goals in club history. The 67 goals allowed eclipsed the 1996 debut season when they let in 63 goals (in just 32 games).
When Fontas joined Sporting KC he was actually coming off an Achilles injury he suffered as a member of Celta de Vigo in the Spanish top flight. That injury cost him nearly an entire year of soccer missing 298 days and 39 games. He also had what Transfermarkt calls “Achilles tendon problems” and “Achilles Irritation” that cost him another two months and nine games on either side of the larger injury.
While Fontas has been a disappointment so far in KC, he clearly used to be good. He played for three La Liga teams, including FC Barcelona before dropping off a cliff after this injury. Sometimes players just aren’t the same after a major injury. For him and his family, at least he cashed in on what could be his last good contract. Not so great for fans of Sporting KC.
The Blue Testament will bring you more from the offseason as it develops over the coming months.